HFA promised, and HFA is delivering! A little over a month after its opening, Anish Kapoor‘s Leviathan, the much talked about inflatable superstructure currently disrupting and enhancing the architecture of Paris’ Grand Palais, still attracts heavy crowds and heated debate.
Maroon, massive and ominous from the outside, the sculpture comes alive from the inside where a womb-shaped chamber plunges the visitor into a trancelike state of sensory overload. The play of light and shadows streaming through the building’s glass roof, as well as the stark contrast between art nouveau steel design and the balloon’s organic feel create a deep and stimulating intercourse between scales, times and fashions.
Leviathan hints at the futility of infinity and at the fragility of social constructs. This uncannily lifelike entity, part animal and part machine, is both intellectually stimulating and deeply sexual. While the work may not outlive its stay in the frame it was designed for, it reminds us that Art is a perception, a transient phenomenon that is to be lived as much as reflected upon.
It only takes 90 minutes to deflate the 18 tons of custom-cut PVC that make up this death orb. So don’t wait to get a ticket and experience the work for yourself.